Monday, December 19, 2011

Mass Disorders in Kazakhstan Leave 15 Dead

At least 14 people have been killed in violent clashes between police and demonstrators in an oil town in western Kazakhstan on the 20th anniversary of the country's independence. Hundreds of workers who have been sacked from oilfields near Zhanaozen have been protesting since May over pay and conditions. They had occupied the main square in the town, and the trigger for the violence may have been when police moved in to clear it for the Independence Day celebrations. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev declared a state of emergency in the town. Later the disorders continued in the town of Shetpe, leaving one more dead. Dozens are reported wounded or arrested. The UN called on the Kazakh authorities to investigate the incident and to refrain from the excessive use of force. (video) (video)

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